Join our campaign to make Sheffield and Rotherham peat free!

Peat is created by decayed organic matter and vegetation, developed slowly under particular, wet conditions over thousands of years. Peat can be found in wetlands such as bogs and moors, and its composition makes it home to a very unique ecosystem.

And when it comes to climate change, peatlands are vital. The excess carbon in our atmosphere is causing the planet to heat up. Peat bogs act like a sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it like a sink.

Peat is extracted from these places for various purposes – most notably for use in garden products – which results in the destruction of this hugely important habitats. Despite the availability of peat-free products not all stores stock them,  and many retailers continue to sell peat products, despite a promise from Government that they would be phased out.

We want to make Sheffield and Rotherham peat free – but we need your help! So please sign up to our Go Peat Free campaign. Find out more below about what you can do to help us end the sale of peat products in our area.

Here are some things you can do to go peat free and help us stop the sale of peat products in Sheffield and Rotherham:

1. Check compost, soil plugs and potted plants before you buy – specifically labeled peat free compost is available, you may need to shop around to find it. However peat’s not just in the bagged soil that we buy. It’s also used for many of our potted plants and shrubs, or the soil ‘plugs’ or ‘pellets’ that often come in gift boxes or similar, that you add water to, to hydrate. Check labels for peat-based materials, and make sure that peat is not a component of potted house plants or indoor potting mix.

2. Be vocal and take action – the more we ask for peat free options, the more likely stores will be to stock it. Similarly, the more of us that ask retailers to stop selling peat products, the more likely they will be to take action. Help demonstrate consumer demand for peat free options today – ask your local retailer what peat free products are available. If they’re stocking peat products, ask to speak to a manager and tell them you would like them to stop selling products that include peat.

3. Use alternatives – there are a number of peat free alternatives; all providing different conditions for growing. The best thing to use will depend on what you want to grow and the existing soil you have in your garden. You may want to research and experiment with:
– Bark chippings
– Coir (natural fibre extracted from coconut husk)
– Wood fibre
– Composting

4. Look for retailers that are committed to phasing out peat sales

We have a small but growing list of local retailers that sell peat free compost products.

If you know of any other local peat-free stockists, please let us know at takeaction@wildsheffield.com

It can be difficult to tell whether the compost on sale in garden centres and supermarkets contains peat or not – details on peat content can be hidden away, and several ranges contain both peat free and non-peat free versions, so it can be confusing! For example, traditional recipe John Innes contains peat, whilst there are peat-free composts such as ‘SylvaGrow with John Innes’ that contain a peat-free John Innes formulation. Some brands or producers are completely peat-free, such as ALL products made by Melcourt and Dalefoot.

The Wildlife Trusts recently undertook a survey of major retailers: the table below includes some of the findings from this as well as information from retailers that have been in contact with us or made announcements since. Please note this is not an exhaustive list of retailers.

The list below shows the peat-free composts that the larger retailers stock, to help you when shopping for your garden or allotment this year. Shoppers should also look out for peat-free plants – B&Q, Asda, Dobbies, Blue Diamond group garden centres and Hillier all stock ranges of plants grown without using peat.

Email us at takeaction@wildsheffield.com for more information about what you can do to help.

Read the list of peat-free composts

Retailer and peat-free targetPeat-free compostsPeat-free plants
RHS compost sales have been peat-free since 2020.
The charity plans for all of their gardens, show displays and plant sales to be peat-free by 2025.
All composts sold by RHS are peat- free. Their garden centres variously stock RHS Melcourt Sylvagrow products:Organic peat-free compost 50L / 15LPeat-free compost 50L / 15LPeat-free ericaceous compost 50L / 15LPeat-free compost with John Innes 15L / 50L, Peat-free tub n basket 50L / 15LPeat-free John Innes number 1 / number 2 / number 3 / seed (all 15L)RHS Melcourt planter for organic growing 45L, as well as specialist peat-free houseplant composts:Thrive peat-free carnivorous compost 0.3L / 1LGrowth Technology peat-free repotting mixes: bonsai focus 2L / cactus focus 8L / citrus focus 8L / houseplant focus 8L / orchid focus 3L or 8L)Other growing media including Bloomin’ Amazing triple action soil enricher Supersoil 25L and Coco grow 75L (5kg)The charity are working with suppliers to eradicate peat use in the plants they sell, so that sales will be peat-free by 2025.
Travis Perkins
Plans to go 100% peat-free this year.
Travis Perkins sell Supagrow Peat-free multipurpose compost 50L.Travis Perkins do not sell plants.
Co-op will only stock peat-free composts from spring 2021.
Co-op will be selling Westland’s New Horizon peat-Free compost at over 1,100 of its stores and forecourts. 
Dobbies announced they are bringing forward their peat-free commitment, and their compost sales will now be peat-free in 2021.
Dobbies own-brand peat-free multipurpose compost is one of their best-sellers. They also stock:A full range of New Horizon products, sell Bloomin’ Amazing triple action soil enricherMiracle Gro peat-free compostGrowth Technology peat-free Houseplant composts.They are introducing a new range of peat-free products this year.Dobbies sell a selection of peat-free houseplants, ornamental & fruit trees, shrubs, pot- grown Christmas trees, and perennials.
Waitrose have pledged to end sales of bagged peat-based compost by 2022. 
Waitrose told us they have ‘many peat-free products in branches’ but did not provide details. Waitrose did not state that they sell peat-free plants.
The company has announced a commitment to being 100% peat-free across its bagged growing media in 2023.
B&Q told us they sell the following own-brand peat-free bagged composts:GoodHome multi-purpose compost 10L / 20L / 50L / 100LGoodHome multi-purpose enriched compost 50LVerve herb compost 10LGoodHome grow bag 27LGoodHome garden compost 50LVerve rose, tree and shrub compost 50LVerve seed & cutting compost 10L / 20LVerve container & basket compost 20L / 50LVerve bulb planting compost 20LVerve houseplant compost 10LVerve cacti & succulent compost 5LVerve orchid compost 5LVerve citrus compost 10LIn 2014 B&Q introduced a range of bedding plants that are 100% peat-free.
Plans to phase out peat sales by 2025.
Westland New Horizon All Plant Compost in 50L / 60LWickes Multi-purpose Peat-free Compost 50LThey are also launching new peat-free product this year.Wickes do not currently stock peat-free plants.
Plans for all plants across their nurseries to be peat-free by 2022.
Plans to phase out peat sales in garden centres but no end date given.
Hillier peat-free multipurpose compostBloomin’ Amazing triple action soil enricherHillier’s own tree production is 100% peat-free and production of all other plants across their nurseries will be peat-free for 2022, ensuring that all home-grown plants sold are peat-free.
Blue Diamond
Plans to phase out peat sales but no end date given.
Garden Centres that are part of the Blue Diamond Group will be stocking a large range of peat-free growing media, some of which are trials of new lines in specific stores. They plan to sell:Sylvagrow products (Peat Free & Organic Grow BagPeat-Free & Organic MultipurposePeat-Free John Innes Multi-purpose,  Multi-Purpose RHS Peat Free 50L EricaceousJohn Innes SeedJohn Innes No 1, No 2,  No3New Horizon products including All Purpose Compost 50L, Veg Growing Compost, Vegetable Planter, Peat Free and OrganicMiracle Gro Peat Free CompostCoco Grow products trialled in 15 stores (Coco Grow, Coco Grow + 1Kg / 5kg, Coco Boost 1kg / 5kg, and Coco Dots)Blue Diamond Garden Centres sell peat-free plants within the following ranges: Ornamental and fruit trees, roses, soft fruit, Indoor plants, pot bedding and pack bedding plants.
Plans to phase out peat sales but no end date given.
They plan to remove peat from own-brand products by 2030.
Asda stock their own-brand Asda Peat Free Compost (50L).Asda stock a range of peat-free container and houseplants.
Plans to phase out peat sales but no end date given.
Homebase sell their own-brand Homebase peat-free Compost 50L, as well as a range of New Horizon products: New Horizon All Plant Compost 20L / 50LNew Horizon Vegetable Growing Compost 50LNew Horizon Tomato PlanterHomebase did not state that they sell peat-free plants.
Plans to phase out peat sales but no end date given.
Lidl told us that in their current range they offer a 20L peat-free multi-purpose compost.Lidl did not state that they sell peat-free plants.
Aiming for ‘minimal use’ of peat in the future. No further details given.
Tesco told us they have some peat-free products available but gave no further details.Tesco did not state that they sell peat-free plants.